Side Tracked: Railway Roundup

There have been quite a few railway related stories surfacing in the press in the last week. Hopefully this post will help curate some of the more interesting ones.

Looking To Buy?

Three stories caught my eye this week as various railway memorabilia goes on sale. If perhaps the world of modelling is a little small fry for you, then check out this report from the BBC.. A railway carriage from the Victorian era, left in a hedge in the grounds of a posh Dorset B&B has recently just sold for £2300. It has been living out it’s life as a garden shed after being purchased by the former owner of Birkin House. In need of a touch of paint it apparently is in good condition inside. £2300 could be a smart investment as relics like this are few and far between.

Image from Western Daily Express

If you’re still thinking bigger then how about this. Another article and film from the BBC, this time an entire former station house in South Gloucestershire is up for grabs. It comes with it’s own platform, steam train and brake van! Although it doesn’t look like it’ll be moving very far anytime soon…

So maybe you’re interested in buying a former station but want something in the city? Well I’ve got just the thing… The Londonist recently published this article of the £50m sale of Brompton Road tube station from it’s previous owners The MoD to an unnamed buyer. It is understood that the new owner will turn the street level building into apartments. This is early days so there aren’t asking prices to live in this wonderful Lesley Green structure but expect the figures to run into the millions! The plan for the remaining portion of the station, predominantly underground and used by the MoD as an air defence post in WWII, is unclear.

Google Station View

If, like me, you like to have a look at your destinations on street view to better help you navigate when you arrive then you’re in luck. Here is another article from The Londonist detailing the addition of some of London’s stations to Google’s Street View. Now you’ll be able to wander around London’s termini without having to leave your living room.

TfL Ticket Office Closures

Last time I briefly mentioned TfL’s announcement to close all ticket offices on The Tube. Well this blog from ‘Diamond Geezer’ goes into more detail about how station staffing across the network will look come 2015. A colour coded map will help you visualise just how this will play out. Also included in this post are a few TfL FAQ’s regarding both the ticket office closures and the proposed ‘Night Tube.’ A more detailed account of what the ‘Night Tube’ will entail can be seen here from London Reconnections.

HS2 Revisited

Image from HS2.org.uk

You’ll no doubt have seen many an article about the ongoing HS2 debate but none quite so poignant as this one from the BBC. In a previous post I looked at the pros, cons and timescales of HS2; including a brief look at how the construction of railway projects has vastly slowed down since the Victorian Era. Well it seems that’s not the only thing that’s slowed down, as the above article suggests journey times are also slower for us now compared to our Victorian counter part. Boston – London is the compared journey, slower now by 30 minutes. Now, I’ll let you read the article by Tim Iredale in full, but the argument is relevant to slower (or cut) rail services rather than their speed. Whether these facts are actually relevant to HS2, I’m not entirely sure.. Boston after all isn’t near HS2’s route and it’s reason for having a slower services is more down to Beeching in the 1960’s than lack of High Speed network in the 2010’s. Interestingly the article does cover a few points I made in my HS2 round up. Including that the act of building HS2 will improve the reliability and access on other routes (I suppose this is where Boston comes in?). The counter argument is again raised that maybe the money is better off spent on upgrading the existing rail (and road!) network.

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